10.05.2021

Calorie intake based on activity level

This figure is about 70% of your total calorie needs, so it’s very important to make sure that you are properly nourishing your body. The younger and higher, the higher the rate of basal metabolism. Men also have a higher metabolic rate than women.

Yes, observing calorie intake is important if you are trying to maintain weight or lose weight, but this is not the only factor to pay attention to. Instead of counting calories, focus on a diet rich in plant foods and whole grains. For example, filling half a plate with vegetables will help you not to overeat.

Focusing on calorie counting can lead to frustrations. Better focus on what you can eat in abundance, for example, on whole fruits and vegetables, and everything else will fall into place.

The amount of calories your body needs every day depends on the basal metabolic rate and level of physical activity. And what is the basal metabolic rate or basal metabolism? In essence, it is the energy that your body needs to perform all vital functions, such as respiration and digestion.

If we talk about the remaining 30% of your daily calorie expenditure, they basically come down to your level of physical activity, which can vary. It turns out that the more active you are, the higher your energy needs.

In one article, leading American nutritionists dispelled the most common misconceptions about calories and shared some really important information for everyone. For example, many people think that reducing calories helps you lose weight. However, if you are not a woman below 1 m 60 cm, you are not recommended to eat less than 1600 calories per day. Excessive calorie reduction can lead to a deficiency of essential nutrients and can even suppress the immune system.

Consuming less food than your body needs can slow down your metabolism as the body begins to break down muscle as fuel. Without enough calories, you may experience low energy levels, excessive hunger, or mood swings.

On the other hand, too many calories are not good either. In addition to weight gain and fat accumulation, consuming excessive calories can lead to many unpleasant ailments, such as gastric reflux (especially if there is a lot of fried or spicy foods). Excess calories can cause a feeling of lethargy, heaviness and bloating.

Determining calorie intake based on activity level

An ideal calorie balance should take into account both your metabolic rate and your physical activity level:

  • High activity. If you do vigorous exercise for an hour or more per day or do heavy physical work, you will need from 2000 to 2500 calories per day (if you are a woman), from 2500 to 3000 if you are a man.
  • Moderate activity. A woman who trains from 30 to 60 minutes a day will need about 1900 calories per day, and a man needs 2500 calories.
  • Low activity. A woman who walks an average of 5,000 to 8,000 steps a day will need 1,800 calories, and a man 2,200 calories.
  • Passive lifestyle. For those who make less than 5,000 steps per day, their needs are reduced to 1,600 calories per day for women and 1,800 calories for men.
Menu for the day

What does a typical daily diet look like within the listed calories? Let’s take a look.

2200 calories a day
  • Breakfast: 2 egg omelet, 2 slices of 100% whole grain toast, 1 tablespoon of peanut or almond butter, latte with skim milk, 1 cup of berries
  • Snack: 30 g of nuts (pistachios, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, etc.)
  • Lunch: 2 slices of 100% whole grain toast, 90 g of chicken or turkey breast, 30 g of cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 2 cups of salad with 1/4 avocado, and 2 tablespoons of light dressing
  • Snack: 1 apple, 30 g low-fat cheese
  • Dinner: 150 g of salmon fillet, 2 cups of broccoli, fried in 1/2 tablespoon of oil, 1/2 baked (sweet or regular) potatoes
1800 calories per day
  • Breakfast: 2 egg omelet, 1 slice of 100% whole grain toast, 1 tablespoon of peanut or almond butter, latte or coffee with milk, 1 cup of berries
  • Snack : 30 g of nuts (pistachios, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, etc.)
  • Lunch : 2 slices of 100% whole grain toast, 90 grams of turkey breast, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 2 cups of green salad with ¼ avocado, chopped walnuts and 1 ½ tablespoon dressing
  • Snack: 1 medium apple
  • Dinner: 120 g salmon fillet, 2 cup steamed broccoli, ½ baked sweet potato

1600 calories a day
  • Breakfast: 2 egg omelet, 1 slice of 100% whole grain toast, 1 tablespoon of peanut or almond butter, latte or coffee with milk
  • Snack : 30 g of nuts (pistachios, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, etc.)
  • Lunch: 2 slices of 100% whole grain toast, 90 g of turkey breast, 1/4 avocado, 2 cups of salad with 1 tablespoon of dressing
  • Snack: 1 medium apple
  • Dinner: 120 g salmon fillet, 2 cup steamed broccoli, ½ baked sweet potato

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